Open Text Corporation announced last week that they’d renewed their maintenance contract with the federal government for content management. They claim that this contract “will provide the foundation for the government’s 2.0 strategy.” More specifically:
The contract will also enable the Canadian Federal Government to push its implementation to the next level by bringing all departments, agencies and crown corporations into the mix, and also by incorporating key 2.0 capabilities, such as wikis, forums, blogs, tagging, moderation, communities and chat, to help improve worker collaboration and the way information is managed.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Lots of folks have picked this up – such as here, here, and my fave one from here, which hypes “Watch out, world. Canada has embraced Web 2.0, big-time” and “This is a bid deal.”
Colour me confused. It’s a maintenance contract that’s being extdended. What this usually means is that the folks who were using this contact before wanted it to continue, so that they can keep using it to do what they’ve already been doing. And my bet is that Web 2.0 is not what people have been using this contract for.
Industry Canada (where I work) does not use Open Text at all as far as I know. Our publishing system for Web and intranet is based on completely different platform. It’s not (yet?) Web 2.0-enabled – there’s no options for blogging, forums, tagging and whatnot. Or maybe there are and the IT folks just turned it all off LOL.
Anyhow, this content management system as been in place around here for years – people keep talking about abandoning it, but as soon as you start looking at the switching costs, you realize that maybe you can find a way to put up with its quirks. I’m sure that our organization is hardly the only one in this situation.
And what about the CIO at Treasury Board Secretariat? (They’re the ones who set the policies for Web, IT and information management in the federal government). Even their more-or-less flagship wiki project – an internal wiki for policy development – doesn’t use Open Text’s software. It runs on the free MediaWiki software package. (Aside – For more detail on what this wiki pilot is about, see this presentation from last fall that outlines what TBS were aiming to do.)
So what’s going on here? I don’t think that a “maintenance” contract is going to be the foundation of mass adoption of Web 2.0 in the GoC. So is Open Text using their announcement to make a sales pitch to Government on web 2.0? Or perhaps I’m just out of the loop, which is often the case…